We have much to be grateful for on this mid-August Bloom Day. This summer has featured remarkably pleasant weather. Perhaps not quite as much water as we might have chosen but the lower temperatures have compensated nicely. Perhaps it’s all to make up for the remarkably difficult winter that we went through this past year. In any case the flowers are doing very nicely thank you. I won’t go through the various daisies, daylilies, and annuals that are blooming right now, instead featuring some of the flowers that are still a little bit unusual for us.
The Astrantia ‘Moulin Rouge’ came from Far Reaches out in Washington State. This is a great source for unusual plants of all sorts.
It bloomed earlier in the year but has now decided to start all over again.
Now blooming in its second year for us in this Roscoea from Thimble Farms in British Columbia.
Not only did it survive the winter but it has prospered and has several stems now.
Nearby is this blue Lobelia which came from seed obtained from the Scottish Rock Garden Club seed exchange in 2013.
This looks to be quite hardy in Maryland and provides wonderful color over an extended period.
Another good plant for color at this season is this summer flowering Allium.
These are always attractive to various bees and other insects.
The Canna Lily ‘Yellow Punch’ is a new addition this year from Plant Delights.
Like all the Cannas it’s a constant source of flowers. I had hoped to see its partner ‘Orange Punch’ which unfortunately didn’t make through the winter.
This little Lily is a Longiflorum-Asiatic Hybrid that is blooming out of season because I planted it very late.
I always like the Toad Lilies for their late and exotic flowers. They are also very hardy and easily divided.
Some other pieces of color in the yard are shown below.
Note that the viable seeds are the black ones. The red ones, though beautiful don’t have any purpose at this point.
And even though I dismissed the annuals at the beginning there are a couple of picture worthy items from the cutting garden.
And then lastly one more shot of the ever-present butterflies, this time on the Joe-Pye Weed.
We came back from our latest trip to find that another of the gentians in the alpine bed had started to bloom. Like many gentians the blue is startling, and in this case a relatively big flower. I grew this native of the western caucausus from seed distributed by the Alpine Garden Society in 2013. It has about 6 or 7 such flowers on a plant the size of teacup. The markings are very intricate and there is a wonderful fringing on the fused part of the corolla that looks almost like tiny feathers.
Apparently, although it’s not common in the wild this is a widely circulated gentian that easily hybridizes with other forms so it’s not easy to know which is the original species. Here is another view of the ‘feathers’.
Seeing this gentian in the alpine bed was a refreshing reminder of the trip that we just took to Mt Rainier. Hiking at Rainier at this time of year is to immerse yourself in fields of wildflowers. It’s a reminder of how these plants really want to grow. Each species stakes out its favorite spot (sometimes heavily overlapping with neighbors).
We stayed a the Park Sevice’s Paradise Lodge for part of the time. You can literally walk out the door onto paths up the mountain.
Far and away the dominant flowers on the hillsides were avalanche lilies (which are really erythroniums).
To think of how we have to work at growing these little beasties leaves is only to be amazed at nature’s bounty.
And then coming home to the east coast again, we were greeted by the rain lilies that had popped up in our absence.
Pretty nice for a low effort plant that comes like this in August every year.